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J.E. Tyler’s Movie Review: Jordan Peele’s US

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Jordan Peele’s US seems to be a creepy take on the duality of human nature as it comes to the self we proudly display and the parts of our selves that we condemn to the shadows. What happens when your hidden nature rebels against you? It’s a brilliant concept for Peele that proves to be less-than-perfect in its cinematic execution. The first half of this film perfectly sets up the story. The pacing and plot flow subtly. The story is tensely suspenseful and engaging with just enough creepy to set up the horror. The family’s acting is superb. Winston Duke perfectly embodies the non-typical black man who is rarely seen in theaters. Although some others may see his portrayal as inauthentic, for this reviewer, it was refreshing to see a new take on the non-monolithic role that is the black man. The roles of both children were also awesomely acted out as both their shadow and non-shadow versions. Lupita Nyong’o, however, is the true star of this film. Her acting was flawless as she completely transformed to authentically portray both opposing characters in a way that only she could have. The second half of the film broadens the perspective on the brilliant concept, but this is where the flaws in execution take place. The film takes a wide leap in exploring Peele’s concept, and the subtilty and suspense are greatly sacrificed. It becomes confusing, and at times, weird for the audience. If you want a comparison of what you should expect, think of the Twilight Zone. Peele jumps out there in a mindbending way. Normally this wouldn’t be a negative, but it seems so adverse to the awesome and subtle set up of the first half. In all, I feel this was a good movie with a brilliant theme that was somewhat un-“tethered” to its third act execution which left the audience with much to be desired. 

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